Archives for category: 1970s

…the last few weeks. I’ve been completely MIA at my own blog because I was sewing like a mad fiend for the Pattern Review “Sewing For Children” contest. I’ve got three pieces left to make before the end of the month and then I’ll heave a sigh of relief. In the mean time, I’ll share with you what I’ve made thus far. Some of it is good. I can’t seem to find any bad, but there is ONE fugly. But more on that later.
Let’s begin!

Advance 8932
a jumper and blouse pattern.

This is a size 8 or 10, if I recall correctly and hails from the late 50s. I only made the jumper since my childrens’ school requires *polo* shirts. Even for girls. Which is better than the button down oxfords *I* had to wear. But I digress. The fabric is a polyester spandexy suiting from Joann’s. It was red tag fabric that I picked up for ~$2/yard. WINNING!!!

You can see the pattern envelope here, if you like.

Simplicity 8769
PantDress without skirt

From there, I branched out into some super 70s awesomeness, also known as the “pantdress”. Simplicity 8769 from 1970 was the pattern du jour. I used quilting cotton for the outer, juvenile apparel for the skirt and a vintage bedsheet purloined from my nana’s closet (with her permission, I promise!) for the lining. I wanted to fully line it because who wants raw edges in their hoo-ha?

I used the owl fabric for the reverse of the reversible skirt. Buttons were from my stash as was the zipper. W00T! for using up stuff in my stash!

Moving right along… We’ve hit the 60s and the 70s, lets aim for another decade…

Simplicity 4870

Helloooooo 1940s. Now there are some little girls who can’t carry off all these frills and ruffles. And to be honest, they CAN look a little dated. Luckily for my little peanut, that’s not the case.

For this seafoam green number, I used another one of nana’s purloined vintage sheets for the dress and lining. The trim is vintage deadstock lace! How awesome is that? Vintage pattern? Check! Vintage fabric? Check! Vintage trim? Check! Vintage button for the neck closing? Check!

This dress also came with the matching doll dress pattern as well. I took some liberties with the doll dress because I’d pretty much run out of ruffled part (the top of the sheet) and I’m a lazy cuss. I’m NOT going to put as much effort into a doll dress as I am a dress for an actual child. So I cheated a bit.

Simplicity 9529

Since we’re like, totally sewing our way through the decades, like fer sure, let’s swing by the 80s. They called and they want Simplicity 9529 back. This was a fun pattern to sew. It was all like, totally, a flashback for me. I think I owned an outfit very similar to this as a kid.

The skirt portion and jacket are fully lined with the raspberry fabric to keep the totally rad purple Star Trek TNG fabric from scratching the skin. And yes, I DID have to refrain from singing Raspberry Beret whilst I was working on this one. The skirt and bodice are all sewn together to give the impression of a skirt/blouse. The belt is detachable (and currently lost!?!). This beauty is dry clean only. Someone smack me back into sanity so I don’t ever do that again for a 9 year old. But really the fabric was JUST too awesome AND I bought it specifically for my purple lover AND it was all red tag fabric, so what’s a girl to do? I just wanted to have fun with it…

Simplicity 2007

I feel like I’m missing a decade in here or something. Let’s see, 80s…. Check. 70s…. Check. 60s…. Check. 40s…. Check. That’s IT! I’m missing the 50s. Okay. Here we go kiddies, let’s take a trip back to the Nifty Fifties!

This here is probably my second favoritest kids’ outfit I’ve ever made in the history of ever. Check OUT the mad plaid matching skillz! Now I know that some people think matching plaid is of the debbil, but for me, it’s like…. I don’t know how to describe it. It just is one of the most soothing things to do. Which means I’m officially nuts. Or something.

This is my daughter’s favoritest – even more than the purple – outfit I’ve made for her. What I love is that when sewing vintage patterns for her, she’s a straight 7/8 and not a 10/12 like the RTW stuff you find in stores. She’s freakishly short for her age (just like her mama!) so I’ve pretty much given up on RTW for this kid anyhow.

I especially love the side invisible zip and the back bow detail on this one. You just don’t see stuff like this at the local Big Box Mart.

And now, for the pe-ayce de ray-zis-tahnce…

McCall’s 4672

McCall’s 4672, overalls and jacket. I’m giving you the big version of the picture so you can really take in the details:

Self-covered “stealth” buttons that are matched to the pattern of the fabric so you just don’t see them.
“Stealth” pocket on the jacket.
Chinese dragon that goes across the front from one leg to the other.
Fu Dogs that face each other on the jacket front.

Longevity symbol
overalls without jacket

How cool is THAT? Now that you’ve seen the good… Brace yourself for the fugly. Because, friends, it just ain’t a pretty sight.

Toddler Maternity Pattern?

Yeah. Not quite the result I was looking for. This one did not pass go, did not get entered into the contest. Why? Well, despite the awesome fabric, it just wasn’t *right*. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. And this was a BIG lose. Laura Petrie might have been able to carry this one off. Or even Lucy Ricardo as maternity wear. But even with dupioni silk(!) and awesome stretch check fabric that feels like taffeta, this outfit wouldn’t make the grade. And the shame of it all is that THIS pattern is one that I really, really, really wanted to make up. I’m not even sure I’d resell it, it’s so bad. Plus it’s missing a couple of pieces.

***And might I say I REALLY hate Blogger’s method for inserting photos into posts.


08.02.11 | ahoy there! skirt

08.02.11 | ahoy there! skirt

I’ve been in a bit of a sewing slump due to the heat and daydreaming about (totally impractical to August in the south) fall clothes! So in an effort to pull myself up by my bootstraps and get back into reality sewing, I raided the ol’ pattern stash the other evening to find something quick and easy that appealed. Of course, is it surprising that the above pattern—view C—jumped out at me? Not that I need another nautical or blue skirt (see further evidence here and here), but I had some navy blue broadcloth and was willing to overlook this addition to the blue collection in order to promote the return of Sewing Mojo. (Note: I only realized after sewing this up that it’s insanely similar to the Ginger skirt–so take note Ginger-lovers for variation ideas!)

08.02.11 | ahoy there! skirt
08.02.11 | ahoy there! skirt

I couldn’t make this straight out of the package, of course. First I had to grade the pattern up a couple sizes (I haven’t ever been close to a 24” waist in my teen/adult life), which was a breeze. I also shortened the length to my preferred 22 1/2″-23″ length (knee on me). One thing I would adjust if I make this again is the back hip ease. There is a minute amount, but I don’t like how it makes the back slightly “puff”. I’ll eliminate it in future versions for a smooth fit. Because this was an “easy” pattern, it wasn’t terribly complicated. Which meant I was able to concentrate on things like doing my top stitching evenly, and attaching some hem tape for a pretty hem (since this skirt is a washable sort, I also serged the edge before attaching the hem lace, to prevent any further raveling).

08.02.11 | ahoy there! skirt

My only issue is that the waist feels a teeny-tiny bit big. Like only a 1/4” at the most. Considering right now I’m somewhat swollen thanks to the heat (an odd summertime phenomena that only showed up when I moved to FL… Probably not helped by the gallons of water I drink to stay hydrated.), this isn’t a bad thing. SH convinced me to just leave it as is, instead of becoming mental and unpicking the waistband that went in flawlessly. I swear I did fit this thing before attaching the waistband—but I blame doing it shortly after dinner as giving me a false sense of security. Lesson learned: don’t eat a big dinner and fit afterward.

Now I have a darling (albeit somewhat redundant from a wardrobe perspective) 70s nautical inspired skirt. No, the tabs are not functional—I did mention I was looking for something easy to jumpstart my sewing again? It’s just applied to the top of the skirt. I meant to have six buttons, but all I had were four, so I made do. I think in total, this took about 2 1/2 hours to complete—can’t argue with that!

Whether my Sewing Mojo is back (or if my head is still stuck in the clouds with fall sewing) is still up for debate…

08.02.11 | ahoy there! skirt

Pattern: vintage 70s McCalls 4589 (thrifted???).

Fabric: cotton/cotton-blend broadcloth in dark navy (thrifted as well, I believe).

Alterations: graded the pattern up from a 24” waist, shortened the hem to my preferred 23” (knee) length. In future I would also reduce the ease in the back that is worked into the back waistband; it puffs just a bit over the upper hip.

Techniques: centered zipper application and topstitching. (This pattern is marked “easy”, so it really isn’t too fancy!)

Make Again? Considering I have a weakness for 70s a-line skirts (we won’t go into how many patterns I have that look similar to this), and this has a few variations I love, the likelihood is yes. Especially now that I’ve perfected the fit!

Please drop by my blog for more sewing fun!


I finished this 1970s Stevie Nicks inspired dress over the weekend. More details can be found on my blog.

I made myself a blouse the other weekend in between soccer games and a zillion other things. Lucky thing it was an easy pattern. This one is Simplicity 7896 from 1977 – I almost de-stashed it but changed my mind at the last minute. I love the Forties-inspired styling and the cuffed sleeves and especially the shoulder gathers (I have a thing for shoulder gathers). The fabric was a lucky find in the quilting section at JoAnn’s – or maybe a not so lucky find as there was only a bit left on the bolt. Vintage buttons from my neverending stash and I didn’t have to buy a thing.

This blouse came together really quickly. The only problem I ran into – and this is something I’ve noticed with 1970s patterns – is that it was a lot less ‘fitted’ in real life than the pattern envelope. With the tropical print I thought it looked really ‘camp-shirty’ so I took the sides in. Next time I will alter the pattern pieces before I sew it again. I didn’t have enough of the print to do the tie collar so I raided my stash for some cream colored Kona. I like the contrast but it’s a bit too stiff to tie in a bow like on the pattern envelope without looking clown-like. Next time I will try this pattern in a nice limp silky print.

(I really need a better place to take photos besides my bathroom.)

Does anyone out there have Simplicity 5405 (1974), seen here at the Vintage Pattern Wiki, and can tell me if it has bust darts or not? Or bust shaping of any sort?

Also: Thursday at noon is the closing for entries for the Marian Martin dress giveaway!

Greetings, vintage fans! I made this dress from Simplicity 7341 from 1976, in a lovely Japanese double gauze. It was pretty simple to make and is the kind of thing I’d wear all the time, so I’m already planning a bunch more in different colours and fabric types. More details on my blog, Tilly and the Buttons. Au revoir!